Bad Blood Grips Immigration Dept.

Omar Camara accuses Sagnia of stalling immigration reforms!

Kindly allow me space in your newspaper to share these burning issues at the Gambia Immigration Department with your esteemed readers.

The Gambia immigration Department has, of late, turned into Work Place “Molten Magma.” It is like a war zone where suspicion, sectionalism and factionalism thrive. It is a place where senior management staff don’t even see eye to eye to the extent that many are not either in talking terms or not consulting one another. This sad reality is significantly affecting the comradeship, efficiency and productivity of the department. But I am more concerned about the less cordial relations between “Education No Far” Director General Buba Sagnia and his deputy Seedy Touray. Since his return from exile following Yahya Jammeh’s ouster, Sagnia has made it clear to officers on morning parades/briefings that all those who had testified against him at the then NIA under dictator Yahya Jammeh never knew he would ever bounce back as Director General of Immigration. Instead of building an atmosphere that would breed team spirit, Sagnia decided to create his own “Osousou club” at the department comprising of people who would lie or make up stories just to protect Sagnia. Buba compensates his Osousou members with promotions, peacekeeping missions, liaison officer appointments at Gambia’s diplomatic missions and fuel coupons.

Mr Sagnia has been singlehandedly making every important decision in that department without consulting his immediate deputy. He informs only selected senior officers about the decisions he makes or about to make. Let me give the readership examples of Buba’s singlehanded decisions below:

  • Inspector Lamin Jaiteh, a grade 12 student who enlisted in the Gambia imImmigration Department in 2012 had been posted to Washington DC. Jaiteh is a cousin brother to Ba Essa Jawara, the God Son of DG Buba Sagnia.

* Inspector Samba Mballow (no relation to Honourable Minister), a G12 student enlisted in GID in 2008 and relative of Commissioner Lamin Jatta’s wife was posted to Brussels as liaison officer.

* Rohey Ngum had been deployed to Dakar as another liaison officer. She enlisted in 2000 but could neither write nor read proper English. Her smathering of French is used as an excuse to send her for overseas assignment.  


* Superintendent Karan Lang Jarju who testified in favor of DGI Buba Sagnia during his trial was compensated with promotion and liaison officer appointment to Germany. Sagnia quickly promoted Cadet Assistant Inspector to Inspector.

* AICO (Corporal) Gitteh, Buba Sagnia’s Marabout’s Son, doesn’t even possess an impressive school leaving certificate was considered another liaison officer to Germany thanks to his father’s closeness to Sagnia.

All of these selections were done at the detriment of highly experienced and educated immigration officers. What added value will these nepotistic nominations bring to GID and the Gambia as a whole? It is imperative to note that no senior command officers except Commissioner Lamin Jatta and Chief Superintendent Ba Essa Jawara (one of the emptiest Chief Superintendens in the history of GID) were consulted when these decisions were being made.

Under Buba’s watch, GID has failed, crumbled and dying a slow death mainly due to corruptions, scandals, sectionalism, nepotism and suppression of talents and rewarding of emptiness. Journalists should up their games and conductc more findings and come up with revelations that are not even highlighted herein.

Immigration department is now turned into a family enterprise where the Director is busy grabbing everything from left, right and center just to satisfy few selfish individuals before his October retirement elapses.

All decisions emanate from DG Buba Sagnia and him alone and his inner circles which gives credit to the allegations filed at the Interior Ministry, PSC and the President’s office by Cadet Assistant Superintendent Omar T. Camara. Let us take a careful review of Camera’s letter to President Adama Barrow below:

“Your Excellency,

I must write to submit to your office the kind of Administration and management style of the Gambia Immigration Department. As good and concern citizen, I want to submit this silence break out to your office for the hygiene in the management of Immigration Department.

Sir, as you could recall, the main aim and objective of appointing the Deputy Director General from the UN Mission in Liberia was for the reform and restructuring of the Gambia Immigration Department.

Sir, you will be surprised to find out that the person you reinstated as the Director General of the Immigration and his “inner circulars” are the stumbling block for this task to be fruitful.

Any suggestions or inputs for reform and restructuring are rendered void and considered threats to their interests. Insubordinations by some senior officers of the members of DG’s “inner circulars” are many and when I captured these in the briefing minutes, I received some kind of disciplinary actions that I should moved to CRR for rotations just to keep me quiet”.

I served the same vision with the Deputy Director General of Immigration and I worked under him in the United Nations Mission in Liberia as immigration and Border security Advisor for two years building the capacities of the Liberia Immigration Department through training, mentoring and advisory sessions.

I am not related to him, he is from Pirang and I am from Wurokang but have the same vision when it comes to immigration matters. Any officer closer to the deputy DG or share the same vision with him is seen as a threat to the Director General and his “inner circulars”. This is not the best practice and it calls for redress. Let’s have professionalism in our management system.”

“Sir, I would like to tell the Director General that this is not helping the progress of the department we are failing the state and the people of the Gambia. Even promotions are based on ties and those who will work for his interests and not for the interests of the organization.”

“Suppression is too much and Decision makings are based on consultation from the “inner circulars” of DG Buba Sagnia and not with the Deputy Director General. This is not helping the immigration department.”

“When I returned from the UN Mission and became officer in charge of Policy and Planning, I wrote the Job Description for the department starting from unit heads (commissioners) down to Border commanders and well articulated handing and taking over templates as part of reform and restructuring activities”.

“I have a lot to offer to Gambia Immigration Department(GID) in an enabling environment where talent is rewarded. These two documents were the first of its kind in the history of GID. I also represented the GID working with thematic working group on Human Rights, justice and security sector reforms in National Development Plan”.

“Starting from the key intervention areas to the costing and monitoring and Evaluations were done by me. When it comes to strategic management nobody can match me at Gambia immigration department because I was part of those who were trained by ECOWAS through ministry of trade and regional integration which was aimed at strengthening planning processes in government departments.”

These submissions to the authorities have triggered the president’s office to assign SIS to mount an investigation into these allegations against Buba Sagnia. The SIS findings were very disturbing and unfavorable to his position. He had been very bitter and vindictive towards Mr Camara and has threatened him not to visit certain offices within immigration department just to frustrate him.

On May 23rd 2018, Buba Sagnia and his gangsters unilaterally scripted a letter to demote Omar T. Camara from the rank of Cadet Assistant Superintendent to an inspector without consulting Deputy Director General, Seedy M. Touray. They further went on to served Mr Touray of Mr Camara’s demotion and transfer to Bansang through the orderly to Commissioner Lamin Jatta. Mr Touray instructed the orderly to return the transfer paper to Jatta as he was not involved in their decision making.

In all fairness, if they have the guts to violate the law and demote Mr Camara, how about those immigration thieves at Seaports and Headquarters who squandered over half a million of State resources and deprived GID income? I guess they too deserves to be demoted to first class ranks and then fired.

The Gambia immigration department is too toxic and needs thorough cleaning up to jump start yielding results and efficiency to the people they served. Anything less than that will further render this institution like a pig’s pen.

The ministry of interior should therefore, kindly look into finding ways to make Gambia immigration department a violent free work place environment for all regardless of your Gender, tribal and your social status.

A Senior Insider
Gambia Immigration Department


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